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Weariness: A Winter Chill in Our Soul




by Cecily Lachapelle

 

The wind ripped through my clothing as if I was crossing the parking lot in my pajamas. I had dashed out the door to run a quick errand and didn’t pay any attention to the temperature outside or the wind that was making  the branches outside my upstairs office window dance the cha-cha. I was toasty warm inside my office with my electric ‘fireplace’ adding additional warmth and ambiance, and I had been so busy at the computer that I had not taken notice of the neighbors speed-walking their dogs, hurrying them to ‘do their business’ and get home.

 

As I naively got in my car and pulled out of the garage, all I could think about was the mountain of work I had left undone that was waiting for my return. Nevertheless, I had to take a break and get to the store before it closed and thus, the quick trip that I thought would be uneventful. I was not prepared for the biting cold that slapped me across the face as soon as I stepped out of the car. I hadn’t thought to put on a hat, bring my gloves or even choose the longer winter coat that covers my legs beneath my knees. My parking space was at the end of the lane of cars so as I pushed my way through the wind, within seconds, my nose was cold and runny, my eyes were watery, and I felt a chill penetrate to my bones. Thankfully, I only had that one errand to do, so my grueling walk back to my car was the last of my “Frozen” experience for the day; but it got me thinking about how quickly our bodies—and our souls—can go from warm and content to freezing cold and miserable.

 

In our lives, the season of our soul can change from warm and carefree to bleak and dark seemingly overnight. Maybe the change came suddenly in the form of a job loss, the death of a loved one or a physical diagnosis. Or maybe the chill crept in gradually in the form of marriage or financial stress that grew over time and is now a mountain of pain. 

 


However you have reached this winter of the soul, know this: sorrow and loss, trials and challenges come to us all, but God’s plan for us is that we experience victory over every tactic and scheme of the enemy and that we endure with fiery hot passion until we cross our finish line.

 

So how is it possible to endure with passion when pressure and stress are draining your peace and joy faster than you can fill yourself back up? How can you possibly endure—let alone with passion—when your circumstances are bleak or frightening? How do you keep the fire of that passion stoked to full flame when a crisis is blowing on your heart like a frigid February wind?


I believe there's only one way to keep the flame of our passion burning bright, and that is through intimate fellowship with Jesus Christ. This might seem like an oversimplified answer to a complex and oppressive problem, but I believe that creating a lifestyle of intimacy with the Lord is hands down the most important pursuit—and vital protection—that a child of God has.

 

If we hope to repurpose our weariness into passionate endurance that can sustain us so that we finish our race well, we must stay close to the Lord and become intimately acquainted with His voice; we must schedule time to ‘be still and know that He is God’ (Psalm 46:10) and to live in the house of the LORD all the days of our lives, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple (Psalm 27:4). There truly is no remedy for the chill in our heart other than the warmth of His presence and there is no cure for weary resignation other than purposeful pursuit of that Presence.

 

For biblical examples, we can watch as Moses enters the Tent of Meeting to pour out his concerns for the nation he was tagged by God to lead. We can watch as David calls for the ephod and shuts himself away to hear from God after his wife and children and those of his men have been kidnapped by murderous marauders. Don’t forget about the parable of the 10 virgins—the 5 wise and the 5 unwise. In the weariness of enduring, it was the 5 virgins who brought an extra supply of oil, most commonly interpreted as the presence of the Holy Spirit, who were able to get their lamps burning brightly again upon the announcement of the Bridegroom's arrival. And most importantly, we see our Lord’s example, as He routinely went away alone to pray to His Father. If Jesus practiced daily intimacy in secret with God, then how much more does this pursuit need to be a lifestyle we adopt and augment?

 

Allow me to emphasize what I just said: Our intimate connection to the presence of God needs to be a lifestyle. It cannot be a place we visit—it must be a place where we live. It may seem like a counterintuitive practice in our productivity-driven world, but taking time to bask in the presence of Jesus is, in fact, the most fruitful use of our time. His presence holds the answer to every need, brings healing to broken places, and imparts wisdom for every daily challenge we encounter. If you purposefully embrace the serenity found in the whisper of God's voice, you will not only find your source of strength, solace and unending grace, but the winter in your heart will begin to thaw.

 

So now let’s look at how you can apply this truth to your everyday, challenge-filled life. What could the personal application look like for you? Maybe you need to start by opening your calendar or calendar app and scheduling a recurring appointment in which you fellowship with the Lord. If you already have a time of day where you read your Bible and take notes, I suggest that you tack on more time designated for being still and meditating on the Lord. In my Tabernacle Time, as I call it, I play worship music, pray in the Spirit and worship for a bit. Then I might take communion, or pray back to the Lord some Scripture that has been resonating in my heart. Or I may just lie on my face and let the Holy Spirit paint a picture of the Lord before my eyes as I gaze in awe and love. Maybe there is a new godly habit like journaling or fasting that you can start in order to dismantle weariness and reignite your pursuit. Whatever the outward actions are that the Holy Spirit impresses on your heart, know that He is also pouring out the grace you need to desire and do all that you have committed to.

 

As I close this blog, I would like to lovingly challenge you with all the compassion in my heart to refill your supply of the Holy Spirit’s presence so that, like the Apostle Paul, you can say that you finished your race—and finished well (2 Timothy 4:7)! The Holy Spirit has been given so that you can enjoy the loving embrace of your Savior and receive the endurance you need for the battle you face.  He longs to encourage, strengthen and heal you but you must make the space and carve out the time.  You can’t do anything about the cold outside or make winter in your region one day shorter, but you can thaw the chill of weariness with some purposeful changes to your priorities today!

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